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Fat Lady - Tang dynasty figure type

Fat Lady

Court Lady, Tang dynasty 618-907 ca. second quarter of the 8th century. Characteristic style figure traditionally recognized as Fat Lady in the collectors and antiques trade community.

During the mid-seventh century of the Tang dynasty, the earlier preference for slender female body shapes was superseded in the mid-eighth century by a preference for a more full-bodied silhouette, traditionally called 'Fat Ladies' in the antiques trade.

This change in taste often is attributed to the plumpness of Yang Guifei (or Yang Yuhuan, 719-756), one of the four great beauties of the Tang dynasty, who was much loved by the Xuanzong emperor (r. 712-756) during the last years of his reign.

The period was considered one of the golden ages of Chinese history but also later troubled by corruption, border challenges, and a major rebellion in the mid-eighth century that weakened and eventually destroyed the dynasty by the invasion of the northern Khitan tribes that came to replace the Tang with the Liao dynasty (907 - 1125).

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